Have you got kids? Have you ever tried leaving the house with them? Every parent out there will know exactly what I am talking about when I say that this has to be one of the most painstaking tasks you will have to endure with your children. Yes, this is the one that will test your mental strength and stamina to the max.
You may have run marathons in the past. You might have completed triathlons. You might even have climbed the odd mountain or two, achieving levels of such physical strength and endurance that only an Olympian could match.
But let me ask you this – have you ever tried getting a four year old to put her shoes on?
The Decision Has Been Made
Ok so you have made the monumental decision that you and your family are going out because (a) you have had enough of sitting inside the house and (b) a change of scenery would be good. You’re still having internal doubts though (“Oh will we just not bother??”) but you are going to stick with the decision you have made. Deep breathing ensues. That’s fine, you need to take deep breaths, after all you have just made a valiant decision in your life as a parent. The mental checklist begins.
Ok so what needs to be done? At this point the amount of children you have to get ready will determine the level of difficulty in the task ahead. In our case at the moment, it is pretty wild. We have a 6 year old, an almost 4 year old and eight month old twins. Need I say more?
So you start with the 6 and almost 4 year old and instruct them that we are going out so they need to get shoes and socks on and go to the toilet (this is crucial, the last thing you want is for one of them to turn to you ten minutes after leaving and tell you they need to go). You will now repeat these instructions to them about twenty times as they run around laughing and waving Barbie dolls in the air whilst you are trying to get the babies ready.
The main thing you have to remember with the babies is to change their nappies before leaving and make sure to pack that ever-important changing bag full of spare nappies, bottles (unless you’re breastfeeding), clothes and vests in case they decide to do one of those massive poos that go all up their front and back, which is often an inevitability when you take them on an outing.
So you have the changing bag packed, the babies are fed, dressed, nappies are changed and ready to go. At this stage your husband/partner is outside taking stuff out of the boot to make room for all the children whilst muttering under his breath and wrestling with car seats to make sure they are all strapped in safely.
You are now desperately pleading with the 6 and almost 4 year old to pleeease put their shoes on and trying hard not to break down in tears out of pure frustration. But it’s ok because you’re nearly there. The back door is locked, all the windows are shut (I've checked) and everyone has a pair of shoes on their feet. They may not be on the right feet but who cares, we’re ready to go! Hurray!!
Everyone bungles into the car, seat belts are fastened, all set and ready to go when my husband turns to me and says “Actually can you hang on a minute, I need to go to the toilet…”
Was It Worth It?
It might be one of the most stressful things you go through as a parent, but overall yes it is worth it. As tempted as I am to stay in at times, it is always better to get out of the house, even if it's just for a walk and once we're out we always have a good time. They are actually nice people my little family. And despite the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to get us all out together, I really love spending time with them!
What Is The Moral Of The Story?
For me the moral of the story is do it. Try your best to ignore those inner doubts because once you do get over that giant hurdle that is getting everyone ready to leave, the end result is always worth it. It’s good to get out of the house, a change of scenery is always refreshing and spending time together is good for everyone. You might feel like you’ve aged ten years in the process but I guarantee you will not regret it.